Everyone tells me that Cumbria gets the worst weather in England, and it seems to be true. This summer is unlike one I’ve ever experienced at home in the states; I can count the number of times I’ve worn shorts all day on one hand and the temperature seems stuck in the 60’s most days. Oh, and it rains a lot. I haven’t sat on a beach since my trip back home in June, and I probably won’t sit on another one until we visit Jamaica in October. There is an upside to this cool weather though, and that is that even on the clearest warmest days, the weather never seems to crack the mid 70’s making for perfect hiking weather with clear skies and the sun overhead. On a clear day, when the clouds are high, there is nothing more beautiful than the skyline of mountains and lakes that the Lake District offers. The peaks may not be enormous, the largest barely top 3000 feet, but they are dramatic and craggy and make for an impressive skyline.
Summer days spent wandering through the fells have taught me how to navigate using guide books with careful descriptions of rocky tracks, streams, kissing gates, cairns (rock piles) and trig points as well as elevation maps and on occasion a compass. This is a far cry from following colored markers nailed to trees, which is what most of my previous hiking consisted of. There is a certain satisfaction in finding the next landmark on the trail, and knowing you can move to the next step in the instructions, and when you safely make it back to your car, you feel more accomplished than if you’d just followed an easy route.
The rewarding views at the top of the fells always seem to be worth the steep and taxing climbs. With almost no tree cover, the views are vast, and well known peaks such as the Langdales or Coniston Old Man are easy to pick out on the horizon, and bodies of water (lakes or not, depending on who you ask) shimmer in the sunlight. After a tough walk, there is always a tea room or pub nearby to quench your thirst and appetite, with scones, pints, chips or tea, whatever you fancy.
Most recently, we climbed Loughrigg Fell, an adventure that took us around abandoned mines and caves and through the grounds of an old manor house. When we reached the top, water was visible in three directions and more impressive peaks could be seen in the distance. Definitely one of my favorite walks to date, it reminds me that even when the weather seems awful, there is a reason I like it here in the lakes, the views are worth it.
This post is a part of Tiny Expats Show Your World blog hop.